Oct 23, 2013

Georgy Girl: Lesbian Mother in the Swinging Sixties

The song "Georgy Girl" (1966), by the Seekers, is about a girl who is too fat and unfashionably dressed to get a man:
You're always window shopping but never stopping to buy.
So shed those dowdy feathers and fly

Just the thing to create a generation of shallow, vapid party girls with eating disorders.  

But the movie Georgy Girl  is a queer subtext classic about doing what you need to do to make a nontraditional family.

In the Swinging Sixties, Georgy (Lynn Redgrave) has a masculine-coded name and doesn't care much about attracting men -- lesbian subtexts start here.  But she does want a child.  

Her roommate, Meredith (Charlotte Ramping) likes men a lot, but doesn't want a child -- she's already had several abortions.  Now she's pregnant again.

What to do?

They both move in with Meredith's boyfriend Jos (bisexual actor Alan Bates).  Meredith will provide sex, and Georgy will raise the baby, Sara.

But  Jos decides that he likes Georgy better, so she gamely provides him with sex, and eventually Meredith leaves.  They continue to raise Sara until Jos gets bored, and leaves, too.

Now Georgy has what she wanted all along -- a daughter.  But she's not a blood relative, and single women can't adopt children, so the state intends to take Sara away.

What to do?

There's a deus ex machina in the wings.  Georgy's old boss, Leamington (James Mason), suddenly arrives and proposes marriage.  She's not attracted to him, but with a husband, she can adopt Sara.  And did I mention that he's loaded?  The movie ends with Georgy gazing lovingly at Sara and ignoring her new husband: "who needs a perfect lover when you're a mother at heart..you're rich, Georgy girl."

I'm pretty sure that director Silvio Narizzano was gay.  He really likes shooting Alan Bates semi-nude.  Besides, according to wikipedia, he became depressed after the death of his "long-term friend" Win Wells, who wrote about Getrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas.